When Santa Fell to Earth – Cornelia Funke

Book Review by Grace Heine

Title: When Santa Fell to Earth 
Written by: Cornelia Funke
Genre: Fantasy (Christmas Fantasy!)
Publisher: The Chicken House
Publication Date: October 10, 2006
Paperback: 167 pages

“Have you noticed something?” Niklas asked.
“It’s bigger on the inside than … than on the … outside,” the boy stuttered.
Niklas smiled, “Exactly. All real Santa caravans are like this.”
“Santa?” The boy looked at him incredulously. “Santa caravan?”
“Yes. … I am Santa Claus. Yes, I know … I don’t really look like one. I’m still quite young for a Santa, but …” He pulled a white woolen beard from a drawer underneath the table, hooked it behand his ears, and slipped into his threadbare red coat….
“Does this look more like it?” 
Ben nodded.

(Page 25-26)

When Santa’s last reindeer runs away (while pulling Santa), Santa and his caravan crash down onto Misty Close street; a highfalutin, disbelieving in Santa, and general Scrooge-ian humbug neighborhood. While trying to patch up the caravan (and find the reindeer), Santa and his helpers meet two children who agree to help catch the reindeer – but first, they need to know what happened to the rest of the Santas.

Tim Allen’s: The Santa Clause meets The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Skene Catling and The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann – with a splash of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

(I was not aware I needed this combination)

I don’t think I can give an objective review for any Cornelia Funke books because I love her writing style so, so much.

Her stories are always so original, her word choices so perfect, and everything about her books transports me to another world.

Plus, she’s a German author. (Which means all her books are translated from German.)

(Because you couldn’t have figured that out on your own.)

For most people, finding out you’re reading a book translated from German would be a: “oh, that’s nice” moment.

For me its a: “OH MY WORD, I wonder if Amazon sells a copy in German that won’t cost me my firstborn (plus tax)!”


Because the majority of my heritage is from Germany – and I’m learning German.

(Or, as my German teacher wants me to say: Ich lerne Deutsch)

Plus, I love reading translated books in their original language.

(Not that I have read translated books…)




There’s a German foreign film for when I get really ambitious about my – uh… studies.

(I’d like to request a Cornelia Funke AP course, please.)

Back to When Santa Fell to Earth.

Because I’ve learned a lot about Christmas in Germany, it is interesting to note all the differences between their Santa and the American Santa I’m used to.

First of all, Germany has the Christkind (PRON: Christ-kint) bring them their presents. This translates to “Christ Child” and is why Niklas has angel helpers.

Second, I read the book too long ago to remember what else I noticed.

When Santa Fell to Earth is a good, clean, and funny read that I love and recommend for anyone – of any age – looking for a great Christmas read!

For More Information about the Book and Author Click: HERE

Age Range: like 5 through adult

Cautions – *this is such a clean book I actually wrote down: “Santa has a cold.” on my Cautions sheet.*
Violence: Well, uh…. Santa falls to Earth. Reindeer have been turned into salami. Santas were/are turned into chocolate and eaten. Someone has a sprained leg. (I’d say who but I didn’t write it on my cautions sheet. Why? I don’t know)
Sensuality: none
Profanity: the elves swear with colorful verity (examples: reindeer poop and goblin farts)
Other: A bit of “Santa Magic”. A bet is made and the consequence if Ben loses is that he has to shout “Santa is dead!” around the playground.

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Cleanness Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

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Check out my other reviews at Her Homeschooled Highness Reviews blog!

Grace Heine is a 17-year-old wanna be writer who spends most of her time reading, writing, playing piano, or finding clever ways to be unproductive. You can visit her book review blog here.

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